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View Full Version : October 2008, good time to buy an AppleTV?




serpico
Oct 28, 2008, 01:25 PM
Are there any updates coming soon to the hardware? I was thinking of picking one up on Friday when I visit the Apple Store. I haven't read anything recently on the topic and still learning about what can be done with it. This forum has been a great help so far on specifics like converting all my avi's to stream or save on the AppleTV.

I currently use a xbox 360 to play my avi files burned on a dvd-rw. It's a bit noisy and I'm missing all my itunes media sitting on my imac. My wife wants to keep things simple and clean in the family room too, so not looking into media pc's, etc to fill the room. I think the AppleTV is perfect for what we need so I'm wondering if there were any hardware updates soon.



dynaflash
Oct 28, 2008, 01:31 PM
Um, pretty tough for anyone on this forum to tell you. Who knows ? Personally, I doubt it. For the money, its a good buy if you ask me (which you didn't ;) ). Every new feature has come courtesy of a software update, which is nice for those of us who have the very first models. We are still up to date. But, as with all Apple products, you never know. Apple keeps that stuff pretty close to the vest.

serpico
Oct 28, 2008, 01:56 PM
I was just asking in case I missed a rumor or something. I haven't followed that dates of when the last one came out, but I recall a software update came out and changed the menu from the old front row. I guess I should start converting those avi files to a compatible format for the AppleTV. :rolleyes:

NightStorm
Oct 28, 2008, 02:08 PM
I'd be happy with a gigabit ethernet port hardware upgrade. Maybe one of the new nVidia GPUs for h.264 decoding as well... of course, since the AppleTV runs off of 10.4.x code, that wouldn't make any difference.

marklight
Oct 28, 2008, 02:24 PM
Of course nobody can really say for sure, but I just do not see apple upgrading the apple tv hardware anytime soon... or ever.

MVApple
Oct 28, 2008, 02:36 PM
Well it depends on a few things.

1. Do you have Apple drmed media that can only be played back from a compatible Apple device?
2. Do you want to use Apple TV's services? I.E. rent and buy movies.
3. Are you willing to go through a few steps to get your media onto a streamer?

Seeing as how you are using an xbox to stream media I'm guessing you are willing to go through a few extra steps.

Then you should look into Popcorn Hour. It is much much better than the Apple TV. Popcorn Hour can play most media files, unlike the Apple TV. Price wise, if you are looking at the 160gb version they will be priced similarly except the Popcorn Hour is much more flexible.

If you have Apple drmed media it is possible to strip the drm so you can play it back on your Popcorn Hour as well.

tom1971
Oct 28, 2008, 02:57 PM
I was just asking in case I missed a rumor or something. I haven't followed that dates of when the last one came out, but I recall a software update came out and changed the menu from the old front row. I guess I should start converting those avi files to a compatible format for the AppleTV. :rolleyes:

There seem to be no updates coming... You are safe to buy one. And you will LOVE it.

serpico
Oct 28, 2008, 03:03 PM
I'm not locked into much of Apple's purchases, music is what I buy most and that is easy to convert. I use what is best for my needs, be it from Apple or anyone else. It does get in the way with compatibility sometimes, but the AppleTV is so small and perfect for the family room. And keeps the wife happy.

I think I read that there was a way to play avi files but not sure if it was a codec to download for Quicktime, or an actual hack to the AppleTV. This would save time from converting avi files.

colinmack
Oct 28, 2008, 03:28 PM
...any day is a good day to buy one ;)

Having recently ditched cable to rely on the Apple TV for 100% of our family content, I can tell you you'll love it. It's a bit ahead of it's time, but once you're used to it, it will be hard to go back to the stone age.

theBB
Oct 28, 2008, 04:36 PM
I think I read that there was a way to play avi files but not sure if it was a codec to download for Quicktime, or an actual hack to the AppleTV. This would save time from converting avi files.
I have installed Boxee on my aTV, so I can play AVI files right now. The interface is not as smooth as the original Apple parts of aTV, which are still there, but on the rare occasions I receive a divx file, I don't have to worry about conversion. Supposedly Boxee can even play them from network locations, but I've never tried that.

serpico
Oct 28, 2008, 04:46 PM
Boxee looks interesting and I'll probably install it when I pick up the AppleTV. Saw a presentation a few weeks ago on a podcast. Very nice.

moniquetx
Oct 28, 2008, 05:07 PM
Are there any updates coming soon to the hardware? I was thinking of picking one up on Friday when I visit the Apple Store. I haven't read anything recently on the topic and still learning about what can be done with it. This forum has been a great help so far on specifics like converting all my avi's to stream or save on the AppleTV.

I currently use a xbox 360 to play my avi files burned on a dvd-rw. It's a bit noisy and I'm missing all my itunes media sitting on my imac. My wife wants to keep things simple and clean in the family room too, so not looking into media pc's, etc to fill the room. I think the AppleTV is perfect for what we need so I'm wondering if there were any hardware updates soon.

Serpico,

Just go ahead and buy one, you won't be dissapointed!

Watching podcasts, having friends easily streaming their music over, and of course photo slideshow make the Apple TV a must for anyones living room.

I've owned one since it came out and I just love it! :)

serpico
Oct 28, 2008, 07:12 PM
Thanks for all the input. Ease of use is important for the family, I don't want to be rebooting a PC if something crashes! Just want people to easily figure the menu out and all. :D
I'll try Boxee first before I start converting all my avi files to another compatible file.

mohanman
Oct 29, 2008, 06:02 PM
Converting files for playing on appletv is easy as pie. Just get it, you won't be disappointed, if you are, return it.. simple as that.
Mo

Chris Rogers
Oct 29, 2008, 06:15 PM
if you don't want it, don't return it. Send it to me!

If you find a good deal, let me know. I need one. :p I'm waiting til black friday

obey908
Oct 29, 2008, 06:52 PM
you think they will be on sale for black friday? apple products rarely go on sale. i am debating whether or not to wait

NZdazza
Oct 29, 2008, 07:22 PM
What is Black Friday?:confused:

obey908
Oct 29, 2008, 08:13 PM
its in the states. day after thanksgiving stores open at like 4-5am and have hugeeeee sales to get rid of inventory/get moneyyyyyy.

i think canada has something similar

Chris Rogers
Oct 29, 2008, 08:49 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Friday_(shopping)

NZdazza
Oct 29, 2008, 09:24 PM
Thanks. Not yet reached New Zealand yet I guess. I too am going to buy :apple:TV soon, thought I might wait until the Macworld conference in San Francisco early 2009. I am new the apple world but understand that :apple:TV was first announced here a few years ago. Chances of an update announcement then????

BoulderBum
Oct 29, 2008, 10:52 PM
Of note is that even in the last revision, the original hardware didn't change (everyone just got a software update).

I say buy it now if you're ever hoping to. Apple products never go on sale: http://www.slate.com/id/2156030/.

sonictonic
Oct 30, 2008, 12:00 AM
I too ditched my cable for a la carte iTunes movies and TV shows, about 6 months ago and I absolutely love it. So much in fact that I am now looking to buy a second Apple TV for my bedroom. :)

I really wish Apple would push this product more. So many "regular folks" I talk to have no idea what "Apple TV" is but are impressed when I tell them all it can do. I really love this product...

zedsdead
Oct 30, 2008, 05:51 AM
Jobs said the Apple TV will remain a hobby in 2009, so I imagine no hardware updates are coming.

Software wise it probably will see updates (it better soon, because this is the most unstable and sluggish release to date).

sneeks
Oct 30, 2008, 09:15 AM
An Apple TV combined with Boxee/XBMC is ideal for media playback. I bought one 4 weeks ago and love it. I considered the Popcorn Hour but if music playback is a priority then the ATV was recommended more than it. I also only paid 189 delivered from the Apple Refurb Store for the 160gb model.

Chris Rogers
Oct 30, 2008, 09:24 AM
Of note is that even in the last revision, the original hardware didn't change (everyone just got a software update).

I say buy it now if you're ever hoping to. Apple products never go on sale: http://www.slate.com/id/2156030/.

That article is almost 2 years old. But I know what you're saying.

If they're not on sale on black friday, then I'll pay regular price. Hey, you never know. I don't need it now, so I don't mind waiting.

serpico
Oct 30, 2008, 11:34 AM
I did find good deals on refurbished on Apple online. But I'm going today to check the local shops if any are in stock. The stores I shop at state not in stock on their own websites. But checking on Apple Store, everything is 1-2 days, so I don't think there's anything new being updated. Apple Canada has a 160GB model for $289 refurb. I don't want the 40GB model as that harddisk is too small.

notjustjay
Oct 30, 2008, 11:49 AM
its in the states. day after thanksgiving stores open at like 4-5am and have hugeeeee sales to get rid of inventory/get moneyyyyyy.

i think canada has something similar

The Canadian equivalent of Black Friday is Boxing Day (December 26) though these days the sales have ballooned to fill the entire week between Christmas and New Year's ("Boxing Week").

As for buying an Apple TV and being afraid of losing out on updates, remember that the 2.0 firmware update was made available to all existing owners.

serpico
Oct 30, 2008, 12:55 PM
Well, lucked out getting the last 160GB model at a local retail store. But with work now being so busy, I need to wait until tomorrow to set it up. Oh well. Can't wait. :)

serpico
Oct 30, 2008, 07:42 PM
Ok, got the clients out of the way and the wife isn't home yet. So, I set up the AppleTV this evening and it's syncing away with my itunes library.

But I was having a problem connecting to my wireless network. It wouldn't accept my password even though there isn't any odd characters, just a lowercase phrase with no spaces. I had to disable security in order for the AppleTV to connect. I'm using a Dlink DIR-655, it's the white one with 3 antennaes. I checked the troubleshooting faqs on apple.com and searched for my error which was a -3 that showed up on my tv screen.:confused:

Any suggestions?

BoulderBum
Oct 31, 2008, 03:59 AM
I have a DIR-655 running WPA2-Personal security and it's working find with my Apple TV, FYI.

Maybe reboot the router and Apple TV and try again? I know that's lame tech support (I hate when reps suggest stuff like that), but I know all your hardware should work together since it's what I have.

BoulderBum
Oct 31, 2008, 04:03 AM
That article is almost 2 years old. But I know what you're saying.

True. I haven't ever seen Apple products on sale even recently, however. The best thing I've found is retailers who will through in iTunes gift cards or something along with the purchase, but the price is always pretty much the same.

serpico
Oct 31, 2008, 07:46 AM
I have a DIR-655 running WPA2-Personal security and it's working find with my Apple TV, FYI.

Maybe reboot the router and Apple TV and try again? I know that's lame tech support (I hate when reps suggest stuff like that), but I know all your hardware should work together since it's what I have.
Thanks I'll give it another try. Good to hear that you have it working.

sJv
Oct 31, 2008, 08:06 AM
True. I haven't ever seen Apple products on sale even recently, however. The best thing I've found is retailers who will through in iTunes gift cards or something along with the purchase, but the price is always pretty much the same.

Apple did have some products on sale last black friday. I bought a 24" iMac then that was $100 off. This was also applied to the discount I get thru my employer, so it ended up being $200 less than list.

For appleTV, prices on refurbs are good. I've bought 2 40GB and am planning to buy a 160GB soon.

-steve

serpico
Oct 31, 2008, 04:43 PM
I have a DIR-655 running WPA2-Personal security and it's working find with my Apple TV, FYI.

Maybe reboot the router and Apple TV and try again? I know that's lame tech support (I hate when reps suggest stuff like that), but I know all your hardware should work together since it's what I have.

Funny, I unplugged the power from my router and tried joining my network through AppleTV. It connected with no issues. I didn't even unplug the AppleTV. This is so odd that unplugging my router would solve the issue. I'm glad that was all I had to do and now can enjoy my new TV viewing experience.

Last night my wife & I got caught up watching Youtube videos. What a different experience. I couldn't last that long sitting in front of a computer clicking around watching videos, but in front of a TV it sure does change everything. Now to find time to load Boxee and convert some avi's. Is my warranty invalid installing Boxee through that usb key creator patch process?

BoulderBum
Nov 2, 2008, 01:16 AM
Apple did have some products on sale last black friday. I bought a 24" iMac then that was $100 off.

Huh. Wuddya know. Out of curiosity, who was applying the discount? Was it the Apple Store?

I couldn't last that long sitting in front of a computer clicking around watching videos, but in front of a TV it sure does change everything.

The YouTube interface is great. I usually browse through the "Most Viewed" and sometimes "Featured" videos on a daily basis and probably watch it more than TV.

Be sure to check out the Video Podcast functionality, too! I don't like downloading them to my computer, but you can add Podcasts you find on Apple TV to your "Favorites" and just stream them on demand.

My favorites are:
"College Humor" (updated monthly),
"Play Value" (a surprisingly fascinating history of video games),
"The Onion News Network" (satirical news),
"Zaproot" (a good environmental show),
and "TPMtv" (a left-leaning political news podcast/commentary).

grannybear
Nov 2, 2008, 04:16 AM
i won an apple tv and im selling it as i have a normal tv and can't use it

.:Meh:.
Nov 2, 2008, 05:28 PM
This is directed towards the people who ditched their cable for the ATV. Doesn't it suck having to dish out $30-$40 for each new T.V. season? I'm really interested in buying a refurb 160GB model, but I'm not too excited about spending that much on T.V. shows.

dmm219
Nov 3, 2008, 01:20 PM
This is directed towards the people who ditched their cable for the ATV. Doesn't it suck having to dish out $30-$40 for each new T.V. season? I'm really interested in buying a refurb 160GB model, but I'm not too excited about spending that much on T.V. shows.

some quick math: cable tv with all its extra taxes and charges will cost most people between 60-80 a month (a lot more for some people). that's a MINUMUM of $720 a year you spend on cable. That's approximately 24 different full season TV shows per year.

There are few people, who watch than many shows each season. Plus you also have the option at any time to up, or lower you tv costs by what you purchase, without dealing with a subscription, cable company customer service, and spending all that money in the summer months when nothing is on tv anyways.

For most people, apple tv is the better deal. But for those you are joined at the hip to their idiot boxes 8 hours a day...subscription will always be the best choice.

Of course you also have to consider the cost of the apple tv, but this is easily offset by the rented (in most cases) equipment costs you will pay for cable boxes, tivo, etc...

Saving money is precisely WHY a lot of people go the apple tv route...

now if apple would ever get around to tv show RENTALS like netflix...it would be an even better deal....

serpico
Nov 3, 2008, 01:52 PM
Be sure to check out the Video Podcast functionality, too! I don't like downloading them to my computer, but you can add Podcasts you find on Apple TV to your "Favorites" and just stream them on demand.


Thanks for the idea. I was checking that out the other day but didn't know how to add it to Favorites in the AppleTV. I was running upstairs to add them to my itunes podcast subscriptions! Streaming works fine so I prefer not to download every podcast. Will try it out today.

Galley
Nov 3, 2008, 06:54 PM
Don't forget that you can watch most prime time TV shows for FREE on the web; often in 480p and sometimes 720p. :cool:

BoulderBum
Nov 4, 2008, 12:03 AM
For most people, apple tv is the better deal. But for those you are joined at the hip to their idiot boxes 8 hours a day...subscription will always be the best choice.

Good points. I think the one thing that would be tough to let go of is CNN, which isn't as well-suited to the on-demand model of Apple TV.

Thanks for the idea.

No problem. I like Video Podcasts, but I don't see a reason to store them offline, myself (except for the episode of "Internet Superstar" where they mention my name).

For future readers, I saw this in the news today:
http://venturebeat.com/2008/11/03/apple-spokesman-no-new-products-until-2009/

No new Apple products till 2009, so an Apple TV purchase is safe from new hardware for a few months, if not much longer.

dmm219
Nov 4, 2008, 09:18 AM
Good points. I think the one thing that would be tough to let go of is CNN, which isn't as well-suited to the on-demand model of Apple TV.

This is why Boxee has been a godsend for Apple TV. Helps provide the constant background noise that some people like by having their tv's on all day.

Real Time sports is also a major downside to this approach. Boxee can (somewhat) help with that. Pulling OTA local HD is usually the best approach however.

studlybw
Nov 4, 2008, 09:33 AM
Ok, got the clients out of the way and the wife isn't home yet. So, I set up the AppleTV this evening and it's syncing away with my itunes library.

But I was having a problem connecting to my wireless network. It wouldn't accept my password even though there isn't any odd characters, just a lowercase phrase with no spaces. I had to disable security in order for the AppleTV to connect. I'm using a Dlink DIR-655, it's the white one with 3 antennaes. I checked the troubleshooting faqs on apple.com and searched for my error which was a -3 that showed up on my tv screen.:confused:

Any suggestions?

More than likely your password isn't just a phrase. I'm not completely familiar with the D-Link but most routers take the phrase that you input and convert it to a hexidecimal string. It usually gives you about 5 or 6 choices of what string to use and then you pick that string as your network key/password and enter it. It should be a 10 character string like EE8C89WE45 or something like that. It increases security but gives you a bit of control over what that key will be.

Hope that helps.

MacLovin78
Nov 4, 2008, 09:43 AM
Serpico, congrats on the new aTV. I think that you would have been happy if you checked out connect360 or Rivet. Both of these allow you to stream from your mac just like an aTV. The only issue is that the drm stuff won't work.

I am considering this move myself but I have been having problems ripping with handbrake to an AVI file. It makes one pass through and then quits on the second pass. I am not sure what the issue is. It annoys me that xbox 360 will only play 5.1 surround sound on .AVI files - I am hoping the new software update that comes out this month allows playing mp4 with surround sound.

serpico
Nov 4, 2008, 09:50 AM
Serpico, congrats on the new aTV. I think that you would have been happy if you checked out connect360 or Rivet. Both of these allow you to stream from your mac just like an aTV. The only issue is that the drm stuff won't work.

I am considering this move myself but I have been having problems ripping with handbrake to an AVI file. It makes one pass through and then quits on the second pass. I am not sure what the issue is. It annoys me that xbox 360 will only play 5.1 surround sound on .AVI files - I am hoping the new software update that comes out this month allows playing mp4 with surround sound.

I heard about connect360 but it didn't work on my network, never found the 360. If it wasn't for the fan noise, I would have invested in a wireless adapter for it and use it. But the AppleTV does a lot more for my needs. I listen & watch a lot of podcasts which the AppleTV does a great job at.

The current version of Handbrake was giving me problems, so I use the previous version. It works great. I think it's 0.91. I use iSquint to convert all my avi's at the moment.

One thing I noticed is that it won't play my purchased itunes songs. Is this normal? Is it also safe to install Boxee, does it void my warranty? I'm sure there's an easy way to get factory defaults back.

MacLovin78
Nov 4, 2008, 12:54 PM
I'll have to give the earlier version of Handbrake a try. The xbox360 is definitely louder then the aTV but I found it tolerable when streaming content versus a disc spinning. That disc spinning creates the most noise. Maybe there is some login required to play your drm content on the aTV. I can't comment since I don't have one yet. I think I am going to pony up for the aTV after Christmas when I have some dough to spend. I think it is the better player and likely to evolve sooner then any other out there. I also prefer to just have the mp4 files that can play across all my apple devices such as iPhone etc.

I don't think boxee would void the warranty since you can do the firmware reset and get back to the factory settings but I don't know for sure. If you could avoid converting the AVI's that would be huge.